Trey Burke was absolutely magical in the Bubble in Orlando. It’s best to just get that out of the way. When the Mavericks were falling apart a piece at a time, Trey Burke stood up and played his rear off for the Mavericks and helped Dallas take two games from the Los Angeles Clippers in the playoffs in the 2019-20 season.
That resulted in the Mavericks offering him a three year deal with a 15% trade kicker that was bad at the time and terrible with hindsight. He played 62 games with Dallas last year and wasn’t good, full stop. Prior to Dallas picking him up before the Bubble he wasn’t on an NBA roster, having been cut by the 76ers. There were no other suitors for him prior to the 2020-21 season either that have been reported.
Trey Burke is simply not good enough to be the distraction he’s about to become.
After practice Wednesday, Burke spoke to reporters and said “I know that basketball is our job — it’s something that we come in and do on a daily basis. But for me, I have a life after basketball as well, and I’m just trying to look at all the facts into what [the vaccine] could be and how it can affect me long-term.”
Thursday evening, Fox 4’s Mike Doocy asked Burke to elaborate on his stance against taking the COVID-19 vaccination, something that’s been administered well over 6 billion times worldwide since the variations were mass produced starting late last year:
Moving past the fact that he uses quotation marks the way my mother does (which is to say in a totally nonsensical way), he’s simply saying he’s not going to take it because he believes he has the freedom to choose not to.
Of course, were this the first instance of Burke’s hard stance, it might not be something worth writing about. Following the first day of training camp, Burke had this to say on his Instagram story:
But again, that wasn’t the first time he’s gone off about vaccinations. In late March of 2020, he went on quite the tirade against vaccinations, telling his followers through various Instagram story slides:
- “F*ck a vaccination. Tryna kill us YOU [emoji eyes] you crazy you think otherwise!”
- “Pick a side. choose the Most High through Christ could careless [sic] what the world think [shrugging emoji].”
- He went on to say he didn’t care what anyone thought about his opinions on vaccinations and compared them to RFID trackers, saying “RFID in full effect and they ready to implement!”
- Then he ended by implying the hospital wouldn’t let him leave with one of his children without vaccinations.
There are likely more things I simply can’t recall at 1 a.m. as I write this out.
His opinions clearly haven’t been moved one bit, but it’s also worth questioning his commitment to the cause as he had finger surgery in 2013 and it’s doubtful he took a “holistic and naturalistic” approach to the pain management. It’s been 18 months since this pandemic started. He’s not “trying to look at all the facts”.
The other players who’ve voiced opposition to the strong vaccine push by the NBA include Bradley Beal, Jonathan Isaac, Kyrie Irving, Michael Porter Jr., and Andrew Wiggins. These players are starters and key to their team’s success. Trey Burke is not. It’s a competitive advantage to have a fully vaccinated team given the NBA’s draconian approach to unvaccinated players in the upcoming season.
Burke is not good enough to justify this sort of distraction, particularly when factoring in his dalliances with conspiracy theories. And understanding how the media market is this days, Burke will simply get asked different angles to the vaccine question, now that he’s opened himself up to further thoughts about, as he called them, “pharmaceuticals”. This isn’t going to go away.
In fact, with the signing of Frank Ntilikina, the Mavericks currently have 16 players under contract for the 2021-22 season. Might just be time to remove Burke from the media view until they can trade him to the Oklahoma City Thunder or eat the cost of his salary.